From a gamasutra article about 6 things that motivate people, I’ve adapted the ideas into moose ideas.
1. Experience Bar (Progress Measuring). I should give 1xp for every joke heard, and 1xp for every 10 minutes its running. (I made those numbers up). But showing an experience bar with an ever-growing number, and “Achievement Earned” or something like that, is somehow motivating to people. ( I don’t have a place to show an experience bar, if the control panel window is closed. So maybe it shows up as moose graphics on a hat.)
2. Multiple tasks. Give people 10 things to collect, from different tasks. Have the pieces fit together to get something more special. This could be tasks like, find special graphics on different plugins, Input names for yourself, submit some jokes, enter email addresses of some friends, etc etc.
3. Effort Reward (All efforts are rewarded). Earn some kind of credit, maybe the XP, maybe virtual currency, for every button click or action done.
4. Feedback to the user (clear, quick, clean) is absolutely necessary. Show somehow that credits or Xp is accumulating. OK. probably I DO NEED some scoreart iside
5. An element of uncertainty. So, not only do the credits or XP eventually earn something known, also give a suprise too. That pleases people much more.
6. Social Network. Have both competition from friends, and collaboration to build together with friends. Comparison with friends is a part of this.
July 15, 2013 update. From Don Daglows video about American gamers, he suggests: Reward every mouse click even during a tutorial. First impression build for a very short attention span, so open like a James Bond movie. People are craving for recognition as an Individual. ( how can I do this… maybe algorithm to give them a funny nickname. Give customization and individualization, and sell even more customization.
By the way, if a user pays to unlock a feature, also reward them with some suprise extra feature.
July 28, 2013 update. From a different gamasutra article, about ways to remind people to return to play your game: You can mix and match these techniques.
– A server can send an email to remind the user, if they haven’t used Moose for a while. ( But be careful, they might have just been away sick or on holidays. Its hard to know if their PC was running but Moose was not.)
– Future appointment triggers. Set by the user who chooses the most suitable time from a range available. Ie, user chooses a reward that comes to maturity after a time-interval
that suits them, like, in a few hours, or next day, or minor rewards in 10 minutes. ( I don’t see how this applies to the Moose. I DONT want the Moose to interfere with the users work. Moose is a background thing, not a foreground thing requiring attention.)
– Competitive triggers, when someone else gets a ranking you used to have, and you are informed. Moose can’t use that.
– Social Commitment Triggers. When one user starts a process, another one adds something, then the original was waiting for it and does something further. They become re-inforcing that two people are depending on each other, and these users return to their games a lot.
July 31, 2013 update. In Free-to-play games, a long term relationship with the player is key to monetization.
August 7, 2013 update. A gamasutra article about the success strategy of monitizing the game League of Legends, really emphasises, the “Skins” that people buy to put on the character they play. They have a lot, they add new ones frequently. Hmmm… Maybe I should put more effort into switchable variations on the Moose’s own skin, as well as clothing. Their games terminology for currencies is ‘influence points’ earned free by playing, and ‘riot points’ which are bought with money. That game also has a weekly cycle that lets players try up to 10 things for free. It brings people back to try new things, (helping retention), and when the week ends, they might buy it to retain the thing they like having. That could work with Moose skins and clothing. The article’s author suggested implementing “wish lists”, that people might use to tell the company they like something, but want to wait for it to come on sale.